My sweet holiday child,
We are all so thrilled that you’re here. I love the energy of a full house, and these dozens of cookies that Grandma Lilli sent aren’t all going to eat themselves. I’ve got the room at the top of the stairs made up for you so you can have your privacy when you need it. (And yes, I put the Star Trek sheets on.)
Your brother’s been looking out the window all afternoon. He can’t wait for you to go join him over at the Xbox. Apparently, I “suck at coop platformers”, and he needs you to help him get to the next levels. Go ahead. You can unpack later. Mom Julia’s been keeping track of all of your favorite shows on the TiVo, too, so feel free to zone out and binge watch. I’m sure she’ll join you. Though if you feel like being helpful, Dad’s making seafood gumbo in the kitchen for dinner, and I’m sure they’d be happy for the roux-stirring company while they hear what you’ve been up to.
Eureka the calico cat’s ready to flop next to you on the couch, snore her squeaky snore, and accept infinite pettings. Geist the black cat’s kind of annoyed that the Halloween posing season is over, but if you’ve brought your camera, she’ll still deign to sit prettily in front of the fireplace for you. Especially if you bring that little bag of treats from the kitchen counter. And if you’re not feeling too old to cuddle your mom, I’ll join you on the couch too. (Hint: You’re never actually too old to cuddle your mom.)
I hope you brought your glitter and witchy finery, because we’re going to head upstate for the annual Yule ritual. We’re going to admire the big tree, and light our candles in circle together, speaking our hopeful wishes for the world aloud, sending positive energy out to fight all of the hate and brokenness. Then it’s time to eat, and I hope you’re hungry, because even though our hostesses tell people not to bring anything beyond what they’ve made, we always do. We can’t help it. It’s just not a good gathering without sesame noodles from our house and something sweet made from our beehive honey. Then we’ll each pick a gift from under the tree, and even though it’s technically random, there’s magic here, and somehow what each person receives seems to just the thing they need right then. I wonder what will choose you.
It’s hard to feel like the different one, like you’ve always got to explain yourself when you’re still working on understanding yourself. I wish I could protect you, and all of the LGBTQ youth out there, from all of the things in the media and in daily life that make you feel anything less than perfect, and beautiful, and loved. I want you to be fierce, to make the world a better place just by existing. But mostly, I want to wrap you up in the love of people who don’t make you work at all hard to express your own self, to cocoon you in our queer poly family until you’re ready to go out there and be brave again. As you get older and have more choices of where to be and what to do, I have faith that you will find your tribe and that you will love them with all of your heart. Until then, I’m so happy you can let us be your safe place. The door’s open, whenever you like.
–Mama Vicki (with Mom Julia, Dad Bard and your not-so-little anymore bro)